I replaced all of my under-counter fluorescent light strips with Connecting LED strips two years ago.

I thought they were supposed to last forever? Last week, one strip went out. A week later two more quit working. Of the 8 strips connected on two sides of my kitchen, two no longer work on one side, and one doesn't work on the other side.

Do these things have something like a ballast that quits working? These things were not cheap. I'm ready to pitch all of them and go back to fluorescent! Help!

  • We'd have to have a little more actual description of the setup. Generally, the weak point in LED strips is where they convert mains AC into low voltage DC. Failure of the LEDs proper is almost unheard of. So what I'm interested in is where that conversion happens: is there a single DC power brick that feeds multiple strips? Are there multiple DC power bricks, one per strip? Or is mains AC brought out to each strip? What is the make/model of the strip? (If cheap Cheese, that's not a deal killer, just you need to work more artfully with that stuff.) – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 4 '17 at 19:03

Do LED lights have a ballast? No.

An LED works on a rectified (basically constant) voltage. AC is sinusoidal. DC, is near a straight line. Thus, the light strips you bought, at some point, convert AC to DC.

LED's use very little current and just as low voltage, so either the bulbs/strips have a voltage converter in them, or the "power supply" that came with them is your power converter.

The power converter will die. The LED's should "last a lifetime" .... but not "forever".

If there was lightning strikes, or power surges in your home, this can cause premature failure. The power output of an LED strip should be regulated, but to save a few bucks the manufacturer might have gone cheap and just stepped the voltage down without regulation. Either way, the point here is "just because you paid a lot doesn't mean it is a quality product".

Can you replace the bad parts? .... It depends. There isn't going to be much to the lights so board level repair COULD have a fuse, but that would be added cost the manufacturer may not have put in. The other parts (electrolytic caps, bridge rectifier, MOV, resistors, regulator, transformer) are all possibilities but accessing them could be a challenge. If you are feeling adventurous, remove one and disassemble it, see what you have access to, post a few pictures and maybe we can tell you what to test out.

Should you go back to Fluorescent? My answer, No. Why? They have ballasts, they go bad, they cost $ to run, and now that we are a few years past your last purchase, you should be able to get replacements for less than your initial investment.

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  • Most of the failures I have had on single tube led retro lamps have been in the driver, mosfet constant current chip these are very easily damaged by spikes and static discharges. On the larger lights it has also been the drivers for an array of problems in many cases cold solder joints they hold up for a year in most cases then I end up repairing them or purchasing a new driver but the LED's have never failed (yet). – Ed Beal Sep 19 '18 at 16:11

Look closely at the fixture and you’ll see a small “rocker” on-off switch. (It’s located near the end of the fixture.)

It was probably bumped when cleaning.

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Think about it. If the LEDs were failing, they would fail individually one at a time, not the entire strip at once. (strips typically have many LEDs, but in groups of 3-6, so if an LED was failing, it couldn't take out more than 6 at a time).

What's failing is the power supplies

And this is typical of the failure mode of cheapie LEDs. The LED emitters are solid as a rock and will outlive us all. But they are bundled with a power supply that fell off a truck in Shenzhen. This is especially likely with the mail order/China/eBay/Amazon Marketplace jobs. Amazon Marketplace is third party sellers, and their junk is intermixed with real "sold by Amazon.com" listings. It's very hard to tell the difference.

Fortunately, these power supplies are commodity items and can be easily replaced. You simply need to look closely at its specs and find a higher quality one. Meanwell is a popular balance between price and quality, and is widely used on better lights.

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